On-Site Magazine

Building construction investment growth consistent across sectors

By Adam Freill   

Commercial Construction Industrial Institutional Residential

December 2023 growth in building construction investment hit 0.3 per cent across the board, reports Statistics Canada.

Investment in non-residential building construction, December 2023. (Source: Statistics Canada, Table 34-10-0286-01 – Investment in Building Construction)

Investment in building construction edged up 0.3 per cent in December versus November, to reach $19.8 billion on the month, reports Statistics Canada. Contributing to the slight rise were the residential sector’s 0.3 per cent gain, to reach $13.8 billion, and a 0.3 per cent gain in non-residential investment, which reached $6.1 billion.

Residential growth was posted in Quebec, which grew by 4.6 per cent, Ontario, which posted a 1.4 per cent gain, British Columbia with a gain of 0.9 per cent and Prince Edward Island, which was up 11.9 per cent.

On a year-over-year basis, the condo and rental apartment segment was the lone component to post investment growth, gaining $285 million compared to December of 2022, an increase of 8.3 per cent.

December 2023 non-residential sector investment increases were recorded in nine provinces, with only Newfoundland and Labrador reporting a decline. A 3.4 per cent gain in the institutional component and the 0.4 per cent nudge higher in the industrial component were mostly offset by a decline in commercial investment, which dipped 1.3 per cent to $3.1 billion.


In the fourth quarter of 2023, investment in building construction grew 7.8 per cent to $59 billion. This quarterly increase was led by growth in the residential sector, which gained 11.1 per cent to reach $40.9 billion. This was responsible for over 95 per cent of the total increase in investment for the quarter. Additionally, the increase in investment was broad-based, with eight provinces reporting strong gains.

Investment in the non-residential sector grew 1.1 per cent to $18.1 billion in the fourth quarter. This marked a new high for the series and the 12th consecutive quarterly gain for the sector in Canada. Gains in the non-residential sector were driven by a 7.5 per cent rise in institutional, and a 2.9 per cent rise in industrial investment. These were partially offset by a 2.5 per cent decline in commercial investment.

Year over year, investment in building construction declined 6.6 per cent to $229.1 billion in 2023. On a constant dollar basis using 2017 values, the total value of investment in building construction fell 11.6 per cent to $143.9 billion for the year.

Using the base values in 2017-dollar figures, the residential sector cooled off from 2022, declining 16.9 per cent to $94.0 billion in 2023. This decline was led by a 22.7 per cent drop in the single-dwelling component. Investment in the multi-dwelling component declined at a lower rate, falling 10.6 per cent to $47.7 billion.

The non-residential sector edged up 0.6 per cent to $49.8 billion in 2023, the second consecutive annual increase. The 11.5 per cent gain in the industrial component was mostly offset by declines in investment in the commercial and institutional components, which fell 1.9 per cent and 1.1 per cent, respectively.




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